ign.com reports that Steven S. DeKnight was at the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour today for a panel devoted to Netflix series showrunners, discussing his time working on Marvel’s Daredevil. While DeKnight has stepped down from that role for Season 2, thanks to prior commitments, he had some time before that next project – which DeKnight isn’t able to reveal details on yet – got going, which led to his recent stint in the Transformers writers room.
Taking a page from how a TV show is run, Paramount assembled a big group of experienced writers to help chart out the future of the Transformers film series, under the guidance of Akiva Goldsman, as the studio looks to build more of an expanded Transformers movie universe. I asked DeKnight what the experience was like taking that TV dynamic and using it in film, and he had an enthusiastic reply.
“It's that wonderful thing where features are now taking a page from television and getting people together to really try and plan things out. It was a wonderful experience. Akiva Goldsman was fantastic and Jeff Pinkner, who's co-writing the fifth [Transformers] movie with him was phenomenal. Zak Penn... It was just a room full of brilliant, funny, amazing people. And we spent two and a half weeks in physically the best writers room I've ever seen in my life. Paramount pulled out all the stops. It was phenomenal! We laughed and joked and told stories and plotted out...”
DeKnight had to keep his secrets about Transformers, noting, “I can't say what we plotted out, but it was all very exciting and in the next few months we'll see what moves forward and what doesn't move forward. But it was a fantastic experience. One of the best experiences of that was when Steven Spielberg popped by one afternoon to just sit and talk and hear what we were working on. Everybody was about to throw up, they were so excited.”
Regarding how this might change the Transformers films, DeKnight remarked, “It remains to be seen. I think the biggest thing something like that does when you're dealing with a franchise that is so global and makes so much money is actually taking a moment to really think things out. Because a lot of the times, you go into production, you don't have a finished script or your script is still being worked on. And it's very difficult to work that way. I can't imagine... Especially with the second movie, when the writers strike happened and Michael Bay had to start prepping anyway, I can't imagine trying to prep a movie of that size and complexity and not having a locked script. And it happens all the time in movies. You just have to start because of people's availabilities. So my hats off to Paramount for trying something new in this way and really giving this writers room thing a spin. But for me, it was a fantastic experience. I loved it.”